Vail Johnson has released his sixth solo album, entitled Flow. Describing the music as having a “relaxed intensity,” Johnson’s latest effort features his bass as the lead in fully fleshed out songs. Flow acts as a timestamp for his musical ideas.
“This CD is all about simply playing what was in my heart and how I felt about music presently and how other bassists approach their solo albums,” he stated. “I wanted to make my mark with this one and give something that would represent my decades of experience with playing live, recording, listening and writing.”
Johnson, who’s resume includes work with artists ranging from Herbie Hancock to Kenny G, focused on keeping that simplicity in the album’s sound as well. The instrumentation is sparse to keep every part important while the album has a Steely Dan kind of sonic quality. Johnson shared the nitty gritty details of his recording process with us.
“Flow was recorded in Pro Tools HD mainly through the Neve [console] (the one on the back cover of the CD) and an SSL [console] for some of the tracks. I used my old 80’s era Music Man 80 watt combo with an EVM 15” speaker miked with an AKG D112. Kubicki X- Factor, 1962 Precision and a new Precision 5 string are the basses. I played drums (a SLingerland 70’s rock kit with a 24” kick, 12, 14 and 15”, DW Edge, Pork Pie piccolo and Tama Imperial snares) and programmed some keys. Chris Nix played guitar, while Hans Z and Michael B. Hicks added more Rhodes, Wurlitzer and Piano.”
Flow Track List:
- Southern Spring
- Funk Hard
- Once and For All
- One Man in Paris
- New Kind of Blue
- Amazing Grace